There’s never a shortage of things to do in Margaret River Central, whatever the season. Although famous for it’s wineries and surfing mecca, there is plenty more on offer for all ages and interests including outdoor cinemas, farmers markets, whale watching and much more.
1. You’re in Margaret River; you just have to go wine tasting!
2. Let an expert do the driving, by taking a wineries and breweries tour.
3. Taste your way around the Margaret River Farmers Market on Saturdays.
4. Watch the sun set over the iconic break at Surfers Point, Prevelly.
5. Walk barefoot along spectacular shores and see dolphins and whales.
6. Outdoor Cinemas mean fresh air, beanbags, blankets, starry skies… What’s not to love?
7. Discover fantastic art galleries along Margaret River’s main street.
8. Play a round of golf among the kangaroos at Margaret River Golf Club.
9. Walk or ride the Rails to Trails to Cowaramup, under a canopy of trees.
10. Experience the talents of the region’s amazing chefs, winemakers and sommeliers with a gourmet degustation and matching wine.
Don’t leave town without going for a sticky beak at The Point, one of Margaret River’s most famous beaches. A world-renowned wave, home to the annual Margaret River Pro, and the perfect spot to watch it all unfold. Surfers, kiteboarders, travellers, picture-takers and picnic-goers all come together to take in the view and absorb the action. There’s also a great little lagoon for swimming, a shaded area for barbecues, and lots of lawn for picnics.
Walk the section of the Rails to Trails from Cowaramup to just south of Margaret River – it’s nice and flat, with a canopy of trees. In summer, take a dip at Gnarabup Beach, 10 minutes from Margaret River. There’s a doggy beach, too, if you’ve got your pooch in tow.
One of the most spectacular sections of the Cape-to-Cape coastal walk is accessed via the Margaret River mouth sandbar, and takes you around Cape Mentelle headland and across to Kilcarnup Beach – a stunning protected paradise of sea life and pristine sand. Spend some time on the limestone cliffs watching for whales, and see if you can spot the osprey nest on the island rock. Allow three hours return, and take a picnic lunch and a bottle of Margaret River semillon sauvignon blanc in the backpack!
Pack a picnic and head to Boranup Beach. We spend the day there surfing and diving for crays. Boranup Forest and the walk around Mammoth Cave are favourites of mine to explore.
You can’t beat watching the sunset at Surfers Point, with friends and a delicious wood-fired pizza.
Ideas for kids
• Fantastic’ ponies are available at the horse-riding schools and retreats, where the kids can try riding, take lessons, or go out on a trail ride by lead rein.
• Mammoth Cave is a great place to take the kids. It has an enormous open entry with relatively flat boardwalk and short stairs to viewing platforms. The cave gently gets more intense as you go further in. The self-guided audio tour means you’re free to drop in on your own schedule.
• Rotary Park, near the entrance to town, has a great playground, complete with barbecues and ablutions, friendly ducks and a suspended bridge over the river. Stretch your legs on a lovely forest and river walk up to a dam.
• If you want to totally spoil the kids, there are lolly shops, chocolatiers, fudge factories and ice-creameries galore. Some have great play areas.
• The southern headland at Gnarabup Beach creates a sheltered spot, ideal for beachcombing, sandcastles and stand up paddle boarding.
• Prepare for complete confusion and giggles at the Amaze’n Maze, just four kilometres south of Margaret River.
• Pat, feed and cuddle some gorgeous soft furry animals at one of the animal farms, or bed down for the night at a farm stay.
Things to do
Canoe the Margaret River
Hire canoes by the hour down at the Rivermouth Beach, and take yourself on a private adventure on the tranquil river. If you prefer a guide, there are several tour companies that incorporate canoeing into their daily expeditions.
Dozens of independent artists and craftspeople have workshops, galleries and studios in the region. You can customise your own art trail over a leisurely drive – a map by the Margaret River Artisans shows you their locations. Pick one up from any of the galleries.
Watch the whales
It’s hard to miss the whales as they go by on their way north each winter – Moses Rock, Gracetown and Surfers Point are great vantage spots. There are even a couple of cafes, restaurants and accommodation choices that have front row seats. Failing that, jump on a whale-watching boat tour from Augusta Harbour in Margaret River South.
Walk the rails to trails
If you fancy walking or riding off some of the amazing food and wine you’ve been consuming, take the Rails to Trails track from Margaret River to Cowaramup. A firm limestone track, it travels more than 20km along the old railway line and passes through an arboretum, bushland, vineyards and farms. You’ll find a couple of wineries within reach if you can’t resist, or wait until you get to Cowaramup and check out the various gourmet stores, fudge makers, cafes and cellar doors.